Government has moved quickly to distance itself from a series of newly-created Twitter accounts claiming to be those of new ministers, particularly finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and communications minister Faith Muthambi.
“These accounts are established under the pretext of being official accounts using the South African Coat of Arms and/or names of appointed ministers,” said acting cabinet spokeswoman, Phumla Williams, adding that a number of fake accounts and sprung up following Zuma’s announcement of his new cabinet.
Government says people who want to follow the developments around the new Cabinet on social media should access their Twitter and Facebook accounts via the respective departmental websites.
“Government wishes to put it on record that official Twitter and Facebook accounts are placed and linked to official websites of different government departments.
“Government calls on those establishing these accounts to desist from impersonating government leaders and using these valuable communication platforms to try to confuse the people of South Africa,” she said.
South Africans following Zuma’s announcement on Twitter were surprised to see some rather humorous posts from the @NhlanhlaNeneZA account. “My brains did not fallout when I fell off that chair. I won’t collapse the SA economy. Have faith in me, fellow South Africans,” one read. And another: “Having served under both Manuel and Gordhan as deputy, I garnered enough expertise to rise the SA economy. I won’t make the same mistakes.”
Twitter/media trainer Raymond Joseph (@rayjoe) posted, “Don’t feel bad if you fell for the fake @NhlanhlaNeneZA. You’re not alone, @helenzille & 3700 others were tricked too.” Earlier, Joseph had warned it was a fake account. “This @NhlanhlaNeneZA account was set up 4 hours ago, has tweeted 17 times & already has over 2500 followers. Read the t/l people, it’s fake!”
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